Changing Borders after Ukraine: the justice and utility of secession

Hosted by Hosted by LSEE Research on South Eastern Europe and the European Institute

CBG.1.06, Centre Building, LSE


Professor Timothy William Waters

Professor Timothy William Waters


Dr Denisa Kostovicova

Dr Denisa Kostovicova

Changing borders by force is dangerous and destabilizing, but that doesn’t mean any change is wrong. However the current war ends, Ukraine will confront hard choices about its territory and population, and just invoking 'territorial integrity' won't supply useful answers. Ukraine's allies should start thinking about what changes could be considered legitimate, and the lessons of the former Yugoslavia can inform that process. Can secession be an instrument for peaceful political change that we could use more freely -- especially in a world in which commitments to non-aggression and territorial integrity may be breaking down?

Meet our speaker and chair

Timothy William Waters is a professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Val Nolan Faculty Fellow, and associate director of the Center for Constitutional Democracy. He is the author of Boxing Pandora: Rethinking Borders, States, and Secession in a Democratic World (Yale University Press 2020) and editor of The Milošević Trial: An Autopsy (Oxford University Press 2013). A graduate of Harvard Law School, Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, and UCLA, he has been an Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies.

Denisa Kostovicova is Associate Professor of Global Politics at European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. She is a scholar of conflict and peace processes, and the author of Reconciliation by Stealth: How People Talk About War Crimes (Cornell: forthcoming 2023) and Kosovo: The Politics of Identity and Space (Routledge 2005). Dr Kostovicova co-edited a number of volumes, including Civil Society and Transitions in the Western Balkans(Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and Rethinking Reconciliation and Transitional Justice After Conflict (Routledge, 2018). A graduate of Cambridge University, she held Junior Research Fellowships at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and Linacre College, Oxford, before joining LSE. She directs the research programme “Justice Interactions and Peacebuilding (JUSTINT)” funded by the European Research Council and hosted by LSE’s European Institute.

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More about this event

LSEE (@LSEE_LSE ) was officially launched at the start of the 2009-10 academic year as a research unit established within LSE's European Institute. Over the last several years LSEE has developed the School's expertise on South East Europe, drawing on the strength of existing and new academic expertise at the LSE.

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